Sunday, 28 July 2013

lepidoptera days

Another update on our recent activities and I'm afraid this time the reason behind our recent lack of posts is sheer laziness. So what have we been up to?

About two weeks ago a morning spent in Aberystwyth at Tanybwlch beach and Pendinas revealed the breeding success of many species such as sedge warbler, wheatear (at least 8 juveniles on the beach) and chough of which a family of five was moving around the area searching for the best feeding spots. On the beach I spotted a mediterranean gull amongst about 80 black-headed gulls and a few bottlenose dolphins were showing well again near the harbour.



A few days later we decided to spend an afternoon in the sand dunes north of Aberdyfi. Noteworthy on the bird front were only the passing manx shearwaters and gannets ( not high in numbers compared to the Borth feeding frenzy). Our focus was therefore directed on the butterflies and moths.The highlight and butterfly tick for me was a beautiful grayling (photo) that we found sunning itself on exposed sand. We also spotted large skipper (photo), ringlet, meadow brown, tortoiseshell, common blue and small, large and green-veined white. Also of interest were an abundance of freshly emerged and mating six-spot burnet moths and Dave discovered two garden tigers which are not well-camouflaged in the dunes at all.



These days waders are beginning to build up in numbers again. We were lucky to have great close-up views of a green sandpiper at Llyn Coed y Dinas (near Welshpool) and soon after found three of them at Ynys-hir feeding on the mud fringes in front of Saltings Hide. Also at Ynys-hir (from Domenlas) were about 40 dunlin, 20 redshank and one curlew.
We also have good news on the local front: Our predated spotted flycatchers built a new nest and are currently feeding their chicks; we were able to see at least two gapes when we discovered the nest which is made out of moss and placed on a rock outcrop. A few days ago we had a buzzard visiting the garden - much to the dislike of our blackbirds. And finally, on a local walk along the Dyfi near Pennal we heard a grasshopper warbler reeling in the middle of the afternoon on 23/07. A very optimistic bird inspired by the gorgeous weather to go for another brood? Also on the walk we had a few golden ringed dragonflies and numerous gatekeepers.


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